|The trees across the street have leafed out - fortunately, they're just out of the line-of-sight of my foliage-averse neighbor (whose house can be shown just above another neighbor's Nerium oleander on the right)
|The neighbors across the street are partially hidden behind Alyogyne huegelii (Blue Hibiscus) and what I think is Iris sibirica 'Butter & Sugar'
|The next house is almost completely hidden by hedges but this wonderful Leucospermum makes an appearance every spring
|I've killed 2 of these but think I have to try growing it again
|The owners of the house on the other side of the street have replaced some of their shrubs with succulents. I'm in love with that variegated Aloe (Aloe arborescens 'Variegata'?)
|I don't recall noticing the large coral tree (Erythrina) just up the street before - how can that be? Perhaps it's because I always focus on the even larger pine tree next to it.
|It's impossible to miss the vibrant pink Bougainvillea surrounding this house. I like the Bougainvillea best when it tumbles down the slope, as shown on right.
Rather than continue along the neighborhood road, I hiked up to the entrance to our neighborhood, which has been undergoing a mini-renovation since the city removed several trees along the main road as part of a 4-month project to repave that road and improve safety. The left turn into our neighborhood used to be a bit scary as we faced a blind curve and drivers tend to come along from the other direction at speeds well above the posted limits (despite regular speed traps set by the sheriff's department).
|The area sloping down from the main road has been cleaned up, leaving mostly succulent plants. That huge white building on the other side of the main road is a house (even if it looks as though it could pass for city hall).
|The area along the main road was recently replanted with Bougainvillea, Limonium, Cistanthe grandiflora (formerly known as Calandrinia) and Hesperaloe - all very drought tolerant selections
Walking back the way I came, I noticed things I haven't seen when driving the same route.
|The California pepper trees (Schinus molle) are loaded with berries
|This street-side planting of an ornamental banana tree and Agave attenuata looks great despite being irrigated by nothing more than run-off from the house above
|One house on my route is surrounded by remarkably healthy Hibiscus shrubs (two years ago they were infested with white fly so I was impressed by their current condition)
Moving back along the neighborhood road from the point I'd veered off, I was confronted by the weed-strewn property that was once framed with roses and Pelargoniums.
|This house makes me sad as it had a vibrant garden before it was sold. I have no doubt the new owners plan extensive renovations but did they have to clear the property of life a year in advance of the beginning of work?
|Although this is a poor photo, I think this is Aesculus californica, a California native buckeye
|The house across the street has planted a Jacaranda - I look forward to those beautiful (if messy) blooms
|All the boulders surrounding the next house look like this - there was no attempt to give them a more natural look by burying their bases
|The renovation of this house, which started about the time we moved in, is finally complete. It's far larger than this photo suggests, a split-level home, sitting on close to 2 acres that slopes into a canyon
|Cistanthe (Calandrinia) is already in bloom in this front garden
|Opuntia pads were planted in front of this house (to create a barrier?). The parent plant stands behind an electrified gate in front of a Spanish-style house.
Just beyond this point, there's a road that used to connect to other neighborhoods. Many years before we moved here, it was closed following a community vote. This has contributed immeasurably to the relative peace of our neighborhood by eliminating commuter traffic.
|Ugly yellow concrete pylons prevent cars from entering our neighborhood but it's possible to walk through to the neighborhood beyond
|Echium lines both side of the former street. I briefly wondered if I could get away with digging up the Echium seedling on the lower left.
On the other side of the closed road is an empty lot. The house that once occupied this double lot reportedly burned down many years ago and the land has been for sale ever since. I'd thought to walk the space to see what kind of view it has but stopped as the weeds are currently waist-high in spots.
|There are tall plants of what I beleive must be some kind of Borage all over the property, as well as lupine sprouting up through what must have been a driveway
Slightly further down the road, I noticed that a "for sale" sign was up in front of the house of one of the most active gardeners in our neighborhood. We'd received notice that she and her husband planned to move but I was sad to see the sign anyway. Her garden is beautiful and I really hope another gardener buys the property.
|The gardener terraced her frontyard after she moved in 14-15 years ago
|A few of the plants occupying her front garden
|The 2 most magnificent garden specimens are on display here
|In addition to a 100-year old pine, she's got the largest Leucospermum I've ever seen
|This slope is covered by ivy and fronted with palms, Agapanthus, Hemerocallis, Phormium and Strelitzia
|This is one of 2 "spur roads" that stem off from our neighborhood road
|I think these shrubs are Cassia didmobotrya (said to smell like popcorn)
|My neighbor's driveway with our trees shown in the background
I hope spring is in the air wherever you are, even if there's still snow on the ground. We're having a span of pleasant spring-like weather here, although forecasters are predicting yet another warm-up in the 90F (32C) range for the middle of next week. However you're spending the weekend, enjoy it!
All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party